Back in January we saw the launch of the new Cardo Scala G9 at the Motorcycle Expo. Since then we have had our dealer training and can bring you this review.
The New Cardo Scala G9 builds on the previous G4 model. Built in essentially the same physical package Cardo have listened to the gripes and moans that some G4 customers have had in everyday use and addressed these and more in the new incarnation.
Why is it called the G9 (and not the G5) – well the G4 could communicate with 4 other headsets – The G9 can communicate amongst 9! (8+1)
So what’s new…
A new noise cancelling omni directional microphone – this provides better pickup of speech and a nice touch is the moulded in mark which shows which is the front of the mic. You can see from the picture below that the new mic and sponge is much smaller than that on the G4.
The exit position of the mic from the base has also been much improved – now much closer to the clamp and shell of the helmet it is being fitted to. That makes routing of the mic into the helmet much easier and better positioned.
The base is also not quite as deep as the G4 base making it a “bit” more petite.
The speakers have also been improved. No thicker than the G4 versions they are only slightly larger diameter but house a much bigger speaker inside.
This gives the G9 a MUCH better bass response over the G4.
The G9 comes with BOTH corded and boom mic options in the box. The are simply interchangeable on the base. If you have no need for the microphone you can leave it unplugged and use the unit without. A handy feature also for rider training.
A major bonus for existing G4 users who don’t want to upgrade as yet is that the new G9 base can be used to upgrade any existing G4 unit with a better smaller microphone and better speakers.
The flip up antenna has been made easier to deploy – this responds much easier now. The buttons are raised more and are much easier to depress making them much easer to use with gloves on, and now sporting an extra button for “voice command”
The whole unit – base AND unit together – are now rated IP67 which means that it should be much more resistant to rain than the G4
So that’s the external changes – what about the internal ones.
WOW – where to start. Cardo really have pulled the stops out with the G9.
As well as the bigger speakers new DSP – digital sound processing hardware with PLC – packet loss concealment means better sound quality from the outset. The PLC gives real-time compensation for any audio loss in challenging environments.
Range is still stated the same at 1 mile / 1.6Km but you can now have a 4 way intercom between 2 bikes and passengers or between 3 separate bikes full duplex. In addition you now have a “One +8” toggle that allows you to connect to 8 additional bikes.
Voice Commands are now available for Music on and off, Radio on and off, Intercom Call and Intercom to a Buddy by saying their name.
Flash pairing is a nice touch. Any of you who have used “Bump” or similar with your mobile phone will know how this works. Simply Remove both G9 units from their Audio Kits and check they are in Standby Mode. (Slow single blue flashing) and then bump the two G9 units gently against each other and hold them side by side.
Click-to-Link which appeared in Version 3 of the G4 software is of course still there but you can now also use group signal where you can talk to up to 8 fellow riders at once.
Another nice new feature is the emergency hot dial number. Using the Cardo Community portal – which is where you set all the settings for your G9 and set your “Buddy” name, pair your G9 with your friends G9′s, set a emergency or other telephone number that will be called by pressing both the A and B buttons together, plan rides, invite friends and more.
Fully iPhone compatible the phone features and radio are pretty much as before. One thing to note with the radio – the right speaker cable also doubles as the radio antenna – so for better radio reception route this lead over the top inside the helmet rather than around the back if you want better radio reception.
13 hours talk time and one week standby with charging via a USB cable as before. The USB cable has also been re-designed to be a better fit in the base unit as this was a weakness with the G4.
Click this link –> Cardo G9 Release List <– for a copy of the G9 user manual and your own exclusive launch discount.
So there we have it the new Cardo Scala G9 – the next thing you need to know about is the Cardo Community Portal